Age of Empires II on Mac and Parallels Desktop


As I‘ve written in earlier blog posts, Age of Empires is my most favorite game of all time. So, you can imagine my dismay when Microsoft announced in 2008 that they were shutting down Ensemble Studios, the development studio for all the Age of Empires titles. It would appear that Microsoft has reconsidered the decision to end the Age of Empires line, as they’ve recently released two significant updates—Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. 

These updates improved the graphics quality and also moved to DirectX 11 as the graphics library upon which the games are based. I wrote about Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and Parallels Desktop in an earlier blog post, and in this post I will discuss Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer: because Parallels Desktop™ for Mac moved to Apple Metal and now supports DirectX 11, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition plays great in Parallels Desktop on my MacBook Pro. You can see this for yourself in this short video:


Video1: Some short gameplay of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition in Parallels Desktop

Of course, the most important variable in-game performance is the specs for your Mac. The basic specs for the Mac used for Video 1 are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1_The MacBook Pro used for video 1

Note: There does appear to be a small bug in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. Its check for video memory in a Parallels Desktop virtual machine is incorrect, and you may see the dialog shown in Figure 2. Just ignore this warning as it does not appear to affect gameplay at all. (I have reported the bug to the Age of Empires team.)

Figure 2_A warning from Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition that you can ignore

The Age of Empires team has also announced Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires IV. I will test them in Parallels Desktop as soon as they are available.

Let me know in the comments about your experience with any of the Age of Empires titles or other games that you play (or want to play!) in Parallels Desktop on your Mac.

Download a free 14-day free trial to try Age of Empires and Parallels Desktop yourself to see how it works for your Mac set up!


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